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Political Science MPhil/PhD

UCL's PhD programme in political science is one of the most competitive in Europe. Small cohorts receive extensive training to prepare for senior positions in research, teaching, or applied work in government, international organisations, private firms, and the third sector.

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/research-degrees/political-science-mphil-phd

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years

The programme takes 3-4 years. Part-time study is not allowed.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 30 April 2020
Scholarship applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 13 December 2019

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£5,365 (FT)
Overseas:
£21,580 (FT)


Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

The minimum academic requirements are an upper second-class Honours degree (or equivalent) and merit (or equivalent) in a recognised Master’s degree programme and a minimum 65% mark on the Master’s degree dissertation. At least one of the three has to be a first class/distinction (or equivalent). Students applying for the 1+3 without a Master’s degree will need to have a first-class Honours degree (or equivalent).

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Overview

The department welcomes research in all the major sub-fields of political science. This includes international relations, political economy, public policy and management, legal and political theory, comparative politics, and data analysis. 

Research areas

Academic staff have a strong record of research and publication within all the main subfields of politics, including:

  • British politics: constitutional and parliamentary reform; devolution; electoral participation; alternative electoral systems.
  • Comparative politics and government: democratisation; the politics of ethnicity; political campaigns and electoral behaviour; comparative urban, rural, and local politics; public opinion.
  • EU politics and public policy: decision-making and institutions; regulation and delegation; lobbying; constitutionalism; citizenship and democracy.
  • Human rights: human rights and globalisation; theories of human rights and justice; adjudication and interpretation; democracy, religion and human rights; global poverty and human rights; militias, non-state actors.
  • International relations: international peace and security; globalisation and global governance; international migration; international finance; international trade and investment.
  • Political economy: distributive politics in welfare states; political economy of development. 
  • Public policy: business-government relations; executive and bureaucratic politics; public ethics.
  • Political theory: the history of modern political thought; multiculturalism, toleration and citizenship; democracy and constitutionalism; contemporary political philosophy.
More information can be found on the department website: Political Science MPhil/PhD

About this degree

Training sequence for empirical stream:

  • PhD Research Seminar (required all years)
  • PhD Research Design Seminar (required Year 1)
  • Introduction to Quant Methods (required Year 1)*
  • Advanced Quant Methods (required Year 1)*
  • One Qual Methods seminar (required Year 1)
  • Big Books in Political Science (required Year 1, 2, or 3)
  • Departmental Research Seminar (expected all years)
  • Research Cluster Seminar (expected all years)
  • Additional relevant training (expected Years 2 and 3)

Training sequence for theory stream:

  • PhD Research Seminar (required all years)
  • Political Theory Seminar (required all years)
  • Big Books in Political Science (required Year 1, 2, or 3)
  • Departmental Research Seminar (expected all years)
  • Additional relevant training (expected Years 2 and 3)

* Students arriving with previous training in quantitative methods will follow courses at more advanced levels. 

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

The department offers fully funded 4-year scholarships together with AHRC and ESRC Scholarships. For details on eligibility and application process see Further details on the department website.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship

Note:
Deadline: 10 January (for application of admission to UCL)
Value:
UK/EU rate fees, a maintenance stipend, conference costs and professional development package (3 years)
Eligibility:
UK
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Our research students have entered a wide range of careers including leading academic positions, international organisations, private sector, third sector, and government.

Employability

Extensive training in a wide range of methods at advanced levels give students the necessary skill sets to pursue careers at senior levels in and outside of academia. 

Networking

Based in London, the programme offers unique networking opportunities to policymakers, academics, and practitioners in the corporate and third sector.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Political science is a discipline with fast moving frontiers and a wide range of increasingly sophisticated methodological approaches. To make our students competitive on the job market, our programme therefore offers one of the most comprehensive and integrated training sequences in the UK. 

PhD students are an integral part of the department's research community through participation in departmental research seminars, research clusters, joint teaching, and co-authoring. 

All students have a three-person supervisory team providing a breadth of inputs from different sub-disciplines and methodological approaches. 

Department: Political Science

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

All applicants
30 April 2020
Scholarship applicants
13 December 2019

Deadlines and start dates are dictated by funding arrangements, which are subject to change, so check with the department to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation.

Note that you MUST identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.


For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 31 July 2020